Safe and Efficient Transportation A Key to Successful Developments

Kevin Ruhland, PE | with 0 Comments

Safe and Efficient Transportation A Key to Successful Developments

As economic conditions continue to improve, communities are starting to see an increase in new development proposals.  These new amenities create excitement and help increase the tax base for a community.  New developments also impact existing infrastructure and resources.  Water and sewer service needs, particularly for bigger developments, are regularly reviewed for adequacy.  But who is making sure the existing roadway network allows new customers and existing travelers to safely and efficiently arrive to their destinations?

Traffic Engineering and TIAs

To assess the transportation impacts of a new development, a traffic engineer should be called upon to complete a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA).  These studies provide a community with valuable information on how a proposed development will affect traffic conditions and existing roadway infrastructure.  Some of the questions a TIA may aim to answer include:
  • Where should the development access be located?
  • Does the driveway access need turn lanes? 
  • Should the adjacent street intersection become a traffic signal or roundabout? 
How it Works

To complete a TIA, traffic engineers collect existing traffic data, estimate new development traffic and analyze intersection operations with and without the proposed development.  Based on data and observations gathered during a TIA, traffic engineers are able to make recommendations for roadway improvements to keep things running safe and smooth.

A Win-Win

Once the impacts of the new development are known, a community can determine how the roadway improvements will be paid for and constructed. Knowing the potential improvements, both the community and the developer know the complete picture of the development benefits and costs as the development approval process proceeds.  This provides a win-win scenario for both parties, as it helps to ensure safe and effective access to the new development, while maintaining operations for the existing roadway users.
Many communities have incorporated TIA procedures within their public policies for new and redevelopment areas.  Some communities even complete the TIA as part of an effort to attract specific types of land uses to their community before developers bring plans to them.  In either case, consulting a qualified traffic engineer will ensure a thorough and impartial review of the potential development impacts on the existing transportation system.
MSA’s team of traffic engineers has completed dozens of TIAs throughout the Midwest.  We let the data do the talking and help our clients implement the solution that most effectively suits their needs.  Contact Kevin Ruhland for more information on traffic impact analyses.

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